When you have insipid, cold-dregs-of-coffe-that-is-mostly-your-own-saliva-at-this-point source material that is inexplicably adored, you have a blank slate. You have a ready-made audience of millions who will watch whatever you make as long as it says 50 Shades at the top and there are anal beads in the poster. And you can do whatever you want with the cinematic derivation, equipped with the excuses that “nothing actually happens” and that neither of the two main characters are expanded upon further than he is masochistic but hot and she is meek but secretly hot.
After thoroughly studying all three books, I have come up with some alternate casting suggestions which might bring the franchise to life. Or put it to bed, if you will.
Orlando Bloom and Tina Fey
He’s got the requisite blank attractiveness, plus the whole like-to-violently-thrust-objects-inside-people-I-like thing that Christian Grey is obliged to embody will be leant credence by the fact that he recently attempted to rearrange Justin Beiber’s truly annoying features. It’s nice to know that he has a violent streak, isn’t it? Gratifying. The elf has found himself. And the choice to cast Tina is an obvious one, because if there’s one thing that the 50 Shades franchise really needs, it’s the confirmation of the creeping suspicion we all have that it might actually be a joke. On literature, on sex, and on anyone who ever contemplated combining the two.
Chris Pratt and Melissa Joan Hart
The only way that Chris Pratt is going to get people to take him seriously as A Fit Man rather than A Genuinely Talented Comedic Actor is if he starts to take roles where his skills are much less important than his looks. I might have been more interested in those newly carved pectoral muscles, Chris, if you’d stopped being so damn funny in Guardians of the Galaxy. And I’ve always nursed a secret desire to see Sabrina The Now-Middle-Aged Witch smacked firmly across the face. And buttocks. Well, you’ve read the books. Smacked everywhere.
James Deen And Katherine Heigel
Not a typo, nor am I attempting to cast a corpse – though the dry bones of James Dean would have as much a shot at bringing to life the charisma and depth of Christian Grey as anyone else. James Deen was named “Male Performer of the Year” by Adult Video News, an incredible accolade I’m sure you’re agree, and a nod to the fact that the greatest achievement of E L James was bringing porn to the daily commute. And famously Mormon and notoriously unpersonable Katherine because I want to know if she’ll actually do anything to revive her career.
Cara DeLevigne and Michelle Rodriguez
Let’s try and find a male audience for this middle-aged matron fodder, shall we? We can call it 50 Shades of…. Hmmm. Well, don’t worry. We’ll think of something.
A hairbrush and a Sports Direct mug
Given that over 100 million copies of That Book have been sold worldwide, one can assume that there’s one in pretty much any household you’re going to visit in the next five years, whether it’s proudly displayed on the bookshelf or lurking stickily in the bedroom. So why not make the movie using things that can ALSO be found in every household in Britain? It’s very normcore. And we can film it on an iPhone. Heck, let’s make it a Vine. Just six seconds of a hairbrush being thrust convulsively into a mug with a small amount of milk at the bottom. What a time to be alive.
My final suggestion is that they just take a Jennifer Aniston movie (obvious exception of Office Space) and substitute every 10th frame with any screen grab from RedTube that strikes your fancy. It’ll make a fortune AND retain all the plot integrity of the original book. You’re welcome.